Screenwriter and now-director Diablo Cody is speaking out about the stigma of women working while pregnant. Everyone caused a ruckus when new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced she was pregnant right after taking on the new job, with TechCrunch labeling her the “first ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 Tech Company.” It’s like everyone’s surprised that a woman can be in a powerful position, AND start a family.
Diablo, an ex-stripper, started her career writing Juno, a sarcastic-and-sweet movie about a pregnant teenager who gives her baby up for adoption. Charlize Theron starred in last year’s Young Adult, another script by Diablo with a realistic edge. She’s gearing up for the release of her directorial debut, tentatively titled Lamb of God, about a conservative young woman who experiences a crisis of faith after a plane crash. The movie was shot in New Orleans this spring while Diablo was pregnant, and she didn’t feel like her pregnancy should have delayed the production at all, even with the amount of Juno jokes she was forced to endure.
Diablo told Fast Company:
“I was about six months pregnant while we were shooting. Believe me, when I’m pregnant, I hear my fair share of Juno jokes. People were surprised that I was going to direct this movie while I was pregnant, and I guess I felt it was important to not delay production and to actually go do it, because I wanted to show people that pregnancy is not a disability, and a pregnant lady can be in a position of power and crazy sh!t won’t happen. And we made it.”
Nobody would ever care if a male CEO was expecting a child–or frankly if a male director was expecting a child. I’ve worked with a lot of directors who had babies on the way or had them at home, and nobody ever said, ‘What are you doing here on set?’
Because I’m a powerful woman with a career, and my baby sleeps in bed with me every night, and I breastfeed, and I do all those wonderful motherly nurturing things–and I have a really badass high-profile job. You can do both things.”
This is an extremely refreshing take on working high pressure, high profile jobs while pregnant, because there is still a stigma attached to it. Sometimes it feels like some people think being a woman is a kind of disability in itself, much less pregnancy. There is also still a glass ceiling in Hollywood that’s slowing being cracked by talented and tenacious women like Diablo.